Market Moving, Rizzo Deal Silence, Baseball is Back, New Flags, and Other Cubs Bullets

I’m gonna have to remember how to do the Enhanced Box Score today! That’s basically me every single Opening Day, and this will be my 13th(!) season doing them. Holy smokes I’m old.

•   On Opening Night eve, the Mets capitulated and brought up their “final” offer to Francisco Lindor, reaching the $341 million figure he’d been seeking, so as to top the recently-signed Fernando Tatis, Jr. deal. As Ken Rosenthal points out, the final deal included added deferrals that reduce the present value to just about the 10-year, $325 million the Mets had already offered. But Lindor got his number, and topped Tatis by exactly $1 million in the headlines.

•   What’s the impact for the free agent class? Well, aside from taking Lindor off the market – as soon as he was traded to the Mets, no one really expected him to reach free agency – it’s conceivable it raises the floor for all the top shortstops in the class. What we’ll come to find out is whether Lindor’s shockingly large deal is just a continuation of the trend that the guys at the very tip-top of the market are seeing their price tags explode while the rest languish, or whether it’s a sign that teams and players are expecting much more spending after the next CBA. If it’s the former, a guy like Javy Báez might still not be able to expect $120 million+ even after a tremendous 2021 season. If it’s the latter, then Báez would definitely be right to pass on extension offers below nine figures right now and bet on himself. If prices are truly about to explode, then a great 2021 season for Báez could put his free agent price tag at a level we are currently not thinking possible.

•   OK, cool, thanks for the update:

•   Jed Hoyer said he was “very confident” a deal would eventually get done with Rizzo, but he also definitely did not suggest it would happen today or tomorrow or even before the end of the season.

•   I gotta tell you, whether with respect to Báez or Rizzo or Kris Bryant, I’m really not looking forward to wondering when we will start seeing midseason trade rumors about those guys because extensions aren’t done. I’ll cover whatever is out there, obviously, but trade rumors are supposed to be kinda fun and exciting. Those … would not be.

•   … so just win a crapton of games in April, May, and June, Cubs! Do it for me!

•   Cubs are back:

•   With some new flags for Cubs Hall of Famers and postseason appearances:

•   The new outfielders get a little instruction on the peccadillos of Wrigley Field:

•   In addition to the broadcasters ditching the suits and ties, Marquee also listened to the fans on the scorebug – it’s moving to the top left.

•   This spring’s best OH GOD NO moment, it turns out, was new Cubs back-up catcher Tony Wolters – sorry about your nugs, Tony:

•   A profile on Jason Heyward, who is a critical part of this team in so many ways:

•   Great vaccination news:

•   Win some free stuff:

•   Harry knows:

•   A no-brainer offer from DK for those who want to play:

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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